We have quite a FoC relevant edition of Papers We Love Education this month: we’ll be discussing “Hedy: A Gradual Language for Programming Education” with Professor Felienne Hermans! Thursday 26th at 6pm CET, all the info here: github.com/papers-we-love/edu/discussions/11
For those not familiar with Hedy:
The problem is an old and wonderful one -- how do you make it easier to get started with programming languages? (e.g. COBOL from the 60's where you describe arithmetic in words?) The desire to be “forgiving” of minor errors comes at the expense of precision of expression, and Hedy meets this head on!
They are deliberately matching this expression-precision trade off with well defined "levels" for learners to gain confidence without big jumps, scary failures, or large cognitive loads. Every time you discover a lack-of-precision need you discover a syntactic solution, and level up.
In essence, "how do you lower the floor while keeping the ceiling high?"
They’re also tackling A LOT of natural languages (the ability to do so is enabled by the levels), and there’s some fun parsing challenges with that.
Recording of Felienne’s talk is here! twitch.tv/videos/1719122823